What to Look For In an Online Maths Tutor? Posted on July 19, 2023 by Harrison Pardoe Photo by Nick Morrison on UnsplashFinding an online maths tutor differs significantly from seeking one in any other subject. Since most students consider maths dull and challenging, parents strive to educate their children beyond the confines of the school/college curriculum. Here’s when a reliable online tutor is required to meet the needs of aspiring students. First, they help simplify complicated mathematical concepts. Second, students learn from the comfort of their homes, saving commute costs and scheduling conflicts. However, with numerous tutors available online, finding the perfect solution for your child can be overwhelming. This guide digs into the qualities to look for in an online maths tutor, making the process hassle-free for students and parents.What to Consider Before Hiring an Online Maths Tutor?For students to perform well academically and meet certain mathematical standards for future courses, securing a good grade is essential. A few people believe you’re either good at math or not, and that’s just how it is. However, studies show comprehending mathematical concepts requires practice. In other words, anyone who strives to understand maths through consistent practice has the tendency to become good at it. Nonetheless, the teaching method and the right approach matter big time. Therefore, the significance of choosing a suitable maths tutor cannot be overstated. Here are a few things to consider before hiring one.Reviews and TestimonialsPositive reviews serve as a testament to the reliability of services. If you seek to hire a specific tutor but are sceptical about their services, a little research is needed to ensure their expertise. Generally, skilled online maths tutors have a website or presence on other social media channels. You can visit the relevant profile and look for reviews and testimonials from previous parents and students. This will give you an insight into their teaching style, professionalism, and effectiveness. If, for some reason, the testimonials aren’t displayed on their socials, you can ask the tutor for contact information of previous or current students. This will allow you to reach out to them and inquire about the tutor’s services. Look for feedback that highlights their ability to explain concepts and boost student performance in maths.Pricing StructureA look into positive reviews and testimonials may compel you to hire a tutor immediately. However, checking whether their pricing structure aligns with your budget is crucial. A few tutors charge hourly, while others offer varying pricing options, including package deals. Consider the duration of tutoring sessions you require and pick an option that suits your finances. Generally, an online maths tutor with numerous positive testimonials and reviews will likely charge more for the right reasons. They have extensive experience in the field, and their reviews substantiate their skills. However, this doesn’t imply that a new maths tutor is less qualified. Make sure you check and compare the pricing structure of various tutors before finalizing one. This will help you choose one that fits your financial constraints.Resource AvailabilityStudents who struggle with math require resources beyond the conventional ones. Therefore, a math tutor must be willing to explore varying approaches to assist students in navigating complicated mathematical concepts. They can incorporate the following things in lessons to make concepts comprehensible.Since math is mastered through repetition, virtual whiteboards let students work with their teacher simultaneously. This approach is far more practical than students writing on paper that tutors cannot monitor.Tutors must provide access to offline learning. In simple words, students must be able to download the lessons. This will allow them to refer back to the lessons whenever needed.The online lesson must incorporate visual elements to keep things interesting. Tutors can use graphics and colours to grab student attention and make learning easier.Screen sharing is another vital aspect of online teaching. Ensure the math tutor you choose uses a platform that has screen-sharing capabilities. This will keep learning seamless by eliminating the need for paperwork.Trial SessionAnother great way to assess a tutor’s style, compatibility, and communication skills is to schedule a trial session. The best part is most online tutoring platforms allow a free trial session to learn about the tutor’s teaching style. So, before finalizing one, evaluate their methods and approach in a trial session. In fact, we recommend scheduling sessions with different tutors on the same day. This will allow you to differentiate and determine the teaching capabilities of various tutors, assisting you in making the right decision.Things to Look For In an Online Maths TutorThis part focuses on qualities a teacher must possess beyond the available resources and appropriate pricing structure. It’ll help gauge whether a tutor suits your child’s unique needs.Qualifications & Expertise In the online world, you’ll stumble upon two types of tutors: generalists and specialists. Generalists teach a wide range of subjects, while specialists are versed in certain domains. It is always better to hire the latter category because they possess an in-depth understanding and knowledge of their respective disciplines. Specialists have dedicated time and effort to mastering their chosen field, enabling them to provide targeted strategies and solutions. They will help address student concerns related to math and encourage them to improve consistently. Generally, teachers with years of experience teaching math are experts in their fields. They’ve solved and addressed various student pain points over the course of years. Therefore, verify the tutor’s teaching experience and educational background to ensure effective support and guidance.Professionalism Professionalism extends beyond having a good reputation. A professional math tutor respects your boundaries and maintains appropriate professional conduct. Here are a few things to look out for.Reliability. A professional math tutor strictly adheres to the timings. In other words, they show up for the scheduled sessions on time. If, for some reason, they are unable to attend the session, they will keep you in the loop and discuss rescheduling options. Reliability ensures unhindered tutoring sessions and a professional you can count on.Preparedness. A professional tutor is well-prepared for each online session. For instance, they plan for topics to cover and relevant resources to make things easier for students. This demonstrates their commitment to providing quality tutoring experience.Confidentiality. This means keeping a student’s personal information confidential. It may include their performance-related details or things discussed during the tutoring sessions. Professional tutors adhere to privacy policies and guidelines.Know-How Of TechnologyRegardless of a tutor’s background knowledge and expertise, delivering their best would be challenging without appropriate technical knowledge.Therefore, acquiring adequate knowledge of technology is critical to becoming an effective online tutor.Here are a few things to consider.Knowledge of popular online platforms. An online math tutor must be proficient with online platforms typically used for tutoring sessions. These may include digital whiteboards like Jamboard and Microsoft Whiteboard or video software like Google Meet or Zoom.Audio and video setup. They must have a webcam and a quality microphone for an unhindered teaching experience. This boosts interaction during online sessions, making learning fruitful.Internet connectivity. A stable internet connection is a must for uninterrupted online sessions. Therefore, an online tutor must have access to a secure and fast internet connection to avoid disruption during collaborative activities.Troubleshooting skills. Running into technical issues during online sessions, from software glitches to connectivity problems, is common. A reliable tutor is adept enough to troubleshoot minor problems and ensure smooth tutoring sessions.Encourages QuestioningA tutor must promote an environment where a student feels comfortable asking questions.Here’s how it benefits students.Encouraging questioning creates a safe space for students, allowing for a supportive learning environment. Students feel comfortable expressing their concerns and seeking additional explanations to clarify concepts without worrying about facing judgments.A math tutor who promotes questioning evokes a desire for learning in students. They acknowledge that questioning is a healthy aspect of learning. Besides, it encourages students to explore concepts beyond surface-level explanations.An introverted student may struggle to communicate their concerns to the tutor. However, a teacher who encourages questions effectively identifies gaps in learning. This allows them to help clear misunderstandings related to specific concepts and promote a better understanding.Curiosity fuels learning and growth. Encouraging questioning during online sessions gives the impression that the tutor acknowledges student efforts in seeking understanding. This helps create an atmosphere where questions are seen as an opportunity to improve.Ability to Comprehend the Student’s NeedsSince one of the biggest reasons to hire an online tutor is to personalize student learning, the importance of active listening cannot be stressed enough. Research shows that a good tutor effectively understands student needs. They quickly identify their strengths and weaknesses, allowing them to tailor their teaching style accordingly. A reliable tutor evaluates a student’s maths level and customizes a plan that aligns with their objectives. This may include sharing relevant resource materials, incorporating relevant visuals in online sessions, and assigning work that polishes their skills in a specific area. The better a tutor comprehends a student’s unique needs, the more targeted solution they’ll provide to break down complicated concepts into bite-sized, understandable pieces. Besides, they consistently track the progress to identify the areas of improvement and tweak their strategies accordingly. An online maths tutor may assign relevant quizzes and assessments to provide further instruction and gauge progress.Ability to Simplify Complicated ConceptsEinstein says, “If you cannot explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.”A proficient maths tutor knows how to break down complicated mathematical concepts into simpler parts. When a student finds a particular concept challenging, the maths tutor takes time to analyze the key components of the concept. Following this, they implement various strategies to simplify it for the students. This may include sharing real-life examples or analogies. Besides, incorporating visual aids like charts, graphs, and diagrams to visualize a complicated idea. It is worth noting that this process can be overwhelming and hence requires the tutor to possess patience (more on this below)Knows the Difference Between Knowing and UnderstandingKnowing is restricted to discrete facts, while understanding goes beyond mere facts and involves a deeper level of comprehension. To promote learning and growth, a tutor must know the difference between knowing and understanding. For example, anyone can know the ingredients and steps involved in a cooking recipe. However, not everyone understands the science behind each step. Merely knowing the recipe may allow one to produce a cake, but understanding enables one to make adjustments, experiment with different techniques, and troubleshoot issues that may lead to a bad recipe. In other words, knowing allows one to replicate the recipe, while understanding promotes comprehending the underlying methodologies. The concept takes an interesting turn in the field of mathematics. Knowing a math concept means familiarizing oneself with formulas, facts, and definitions. On the flip side, understanding allows students to recognize the patterns, connect the dots, and grasp underlying techniques revolving around a particular concept. Therefore, teachers must encourage students to think critically about a mathematical problem to promote a deeper understanding. This will help them see a mathematical concept in practical contexts, enabling them to comprehend its value and purpose.Soft SkillsSoft skills are becoming increasingly vital in the teaching profession. They allow teachers to interact with their students effectively and promote a deeper understanding.Here are some soft skills to look out for in an online tutor.Patience. Maths can be more challenging for some students than it is for others. Therefore, tutors must exhibit patience when explaining complicated concepts. That’s primarily due to the need for repetitive explanations to ensure students grasp a concept well. Patience nurtures a supportive environment and builds student confidence.Communication. An online maths tutor must be an efficient communicator. They must listen to student queries actively and adjust their communication style to cater to student needs. The clearer the communication, the more effective the learning.Empathy is of foremost importance in the teaching world. An empathetic tutor understands the challenges students encounter when learning maths. This helps them address their frustrations and provide emotional support to create a positive learning atmosphere.Problem-solving skills. A skilled math tutor possesses great problem-solving skills. This allows them to guide students in developing their own problem-solving abilities. So, when students encounter a challenging concept, they can tap into their problem-solving and critical thinking skills rather than replicating what they were taught.Motivational attitude. A tutor possessing a motivational attitude encourages students to reach their full potential in maths. They provide constructive feedback and celebrate student success, promoting a positive mindset toward learning. Besides, they promote an environment where students can share their unique ideas to approach a concept differently.Adaptability is crucial when we talk about personalized learning experiences. Since each student is different and has unique learning needs, a tutor must be flexible in their approach. In other words, they must be open to exploring alternate explanations to accommodate student needs.Passion. Someone who genuinely enjoys teaching math will likely instil the same attitude in students. This means learning becomes enjoyable and engaging.The Ability to Teach Beyond a TextbookWhile textbooks include a structured framework for teaching math, a versed teacher understands learning extends beyond those pages. They engage their students in a meaningful and dynamic learning experience. This may involve incorporating supplementary books, interactive simulations, educational videos, and more. Besides, they encourage students to see the bigger picture and foster a holistic understanding of the practical application of mathematical concepts.Final WordsMore students today pursue flexible education that fits their preferences and schedules. No wonder the trend of online learning has skyrocketed. However, finding a good online maths tutor requires careful consideration of numerous factors. Besides the necessary experience and qualifications, a teacher must provide a supportive environment to encourage learning and a positive tutoring experience. Additionally, they must be familiar with technology to provide a seamless learning atmosphere. Make sure you compare the pricing plans of different tutors to pick one that suits your budget. Remember, the online tutor you choose can have a profound impact on your growth and learning – make sure you pick wisely.FAQsHow to Choose an Online Maths Tutor?You can choose an online maths tutor by evaluating their qualifications and expertise in mathematics, reading reviews from past students, and assessing their teaching style by scheduling a trial session. A few other factors include their ability to provide personalized solutions and proficiency with online tools.Can I Get a Maths Tutor Online?You can easily find a maths tutor online who provides appropriate guidance and instruction for your mathematical needs. Numerous online platforms enlist qualified math tutors daily who can identify your areas of improvement and assist you in various maths topics.How Can I Tutor Maths Online?You can become a maths tutor online by selecting a suitable tutoring website or online platform. Begin by creating your profile and mentioning your past experience and qualifications. Besides, you must be familiar with popular video conferencing software and online learning tools to ensure effective sessions.